Samantha Shive has been a dedicated teacher in the CIU 20 Partial Hospitalization Program for five years. She is also the author of three publications focused on using gratitude to support goal setting and personal growth; My First Journal, Daily Journal for Students, and Journey to Yourself.
The inspiration for creating the journals came from the desire to help her students and others reflect and connect with their intuition. She has her students writing in gratitude journals every morning and afternoon, and incorporates mindfulness activities routinely. Samantha has noticed a positive change in her students since implementing journaling, "I have realized that there is a huge difference between us and regular education...but the gap doesn’t have to be that big if we start implementing simple but effective techniques in the classroom. Journals are my first step in beginning this work."
When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, Samantha says that it's her "ability to step into my purpose and change the lives of children. I have really loved the opportunity to be creative in my classroom and execute my ideas."
Kory Kutzler, Partial Hospitalization Program Supervisor, notes that "Samantha has embraced our trauma informed care approach and has embedded them not only into her lessons, but into her classroom's daily practices."
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Samantha recognizes that supporting students in expressing their emotions through journaling can help their mental health as they grow into adulthood. "I think it is important for students and staff to understand empathy. Every person is on their own journey through life and has their own story to tell. I believe that when we are working with children, it is important for adults to leave the judgement at the door."